Deanna Littell's Charm School

Archive for January, 2012|Monthly archive page


In Editor's Desk on January 26, 2012 at 11:30 am


In those bygone romantic times many an American went abroad and married into the British aristocracy. In the late 19th century the financial needs of the estate sometimes outweighed the intensity of the love.  American heiresses managed to get introduced to the right people and many a lord was desperate for help to manage his enormous dwelling.  The most fortunate couples found true love in the bargain.

We are currently spellbound by the second season of Downton Abbey written by Julian Fellowes and staring the English castle Highclere.  Hard to decide what fascinates us more, the upstairs or the downstairs love affairs. Apparently, Fellowes was inspired by the book To Marry an English Lord by Gail MacColl and Carol Wallace.  Everything you might want to know about the American girls who were successful in landing a lord and the tiara that went with it. The present Countess of Carnarvon has written about Highclere’s own money-for-title-swap in 1895, in her book Lady Almina and The Real Downton Abbey ( see reading assignment). 

The story, so romantically compelling makes us yearn for some of this in our own lives. With Valentine’s Day just around the corner we can put our lessons to work.  Here are some charming gifts for one or the other of you.

For the real story on the art of writing love letters-as in putting pen to paper try, Other People’s Love Letters

And for a lovely place to put all those missives perhaps you might hint for this romantic keepsake box filled with two dozen paper roses symbolizing passion and eternal love from RedEnvelope.

An original way to send loving thoughts piece together this charming vintage Valentine puzzle with the one you love- from Gump’s San Francisco.

Wishing you the most charming Valentine’s Day ever and don’t forget to check-out my website at

And don’t forget the Charm School reading assignment is in the next column.

With love,